Mabel’s Corridor


Mabel’s Corridor is a performance that explores the mind-maze of a dementia patient named Mabel. Her stories (both real and imaginary) are told through various mediums including contemporary dance, projection art, and 16mm film.

The audience are observers of Mabel’s fragmented memories, and her distortion of time and place. Research for the piece involved interviewing someone suffering from dementia; the photographs, videos, and interview sound bites are based on her stories — some taken directly from her life.

Typographic Entanglement


We explore an interdisciplinary collaborative process through the lenses of Situated Actions and Distributed Cognition. These frameworks are adapted from the field of Human Computer Interaction to illuminate components of the decision making process. We approach this study through Participatory Autoethnographic methods by recounting a recent collaboration on an interactive dance performance project. We reflect on actions taken in order to explore how the distribution of cognition and modes of communication affect the authority guiding the project. We present collaboration as actions take from knowledge situated in the communal content developed by the team. By exploring this process in a performance-as-research context, signifiers emerge that help us to understand the role of authority in the decision making process.

Carlson, K., Corness, G., Schiphorst, T.,(2010)  Plan, Action, Collaboration: Reflecting on an Interdisciplinary Collaborative Process, Proceedings from The Embodiment of Authority Conference, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland, September 10-12, 2010.



Scuddle is a computational tool that was designed to influence and facilitate the generation of movement material, making the creative process (more) Present at Hand.  The tool uses a Genetic Algorithm to create ‘movement catalysts’ that provide a body position, height and effort qualities. The fitness function is based on heuristic rules designed from Laban and Bartenieff Fundamentals.  The system is used by asking a choreographer to generate a movement vocabulary based on the ‘movement catalysts’ and to use the catalysts to create a short solo work. Phenomenological interview techniques are used to facilitate choreographer’s discussion of the experience, focusing on how decisions are made as opposed to why they were made.



Contemporary dance is an experiential and time based art form with few available analysis techniques. Our design facilitates structural analysis of dance performance by codifying and plotting expert viewer information. ActionPlot is then useful to experts familiar with choreographic strategies and illustrates three levels; viewing for interpretation or meaning, for structural or performative information or for detailed movement information. Plotted elements include the number of performers, the performer’s attention and intention, the amount of effort used, tempo of the effort, the balance of the movement within the body and the time the action is performed. This process conveys information about the viewing experience in context, allowing the user to see structural and performative patterns, similarities and differences while comparing between two works. We detail our motivation, design decisions, implementation and a qualitative evaluation for the presented system.

Carlson, K., Schiphorst, T., & Shaw, C. (2011). ActionPlot: A Visualization Tool for Contemporary Dance Analysis. Presented at the In Proceedings of Computational Aesthetic 2011 Eurographics Workshop on Computational Aesthetics in Graphics, Visualization and Imaging, Cae’11, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.